Page:Pierre and Jean - Clara Bell - 1902.djvu/25

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Guy de Maupassant

"'Nom d'un nom,' he said to himself, 'that's a pretty girl all the same, La Martine.' He watched her walking, all at once beginning to admire her, and struck with a sort of longing. He had no need to see her face again—no. He kept his eyes fixed on her figure, repeating to himself, as though speaking aloud, 'Nom d'un nom, that's a pretty girl.' . . . When he reached home, dinner was on the table. He sat down opposite his mother, between the labourer and the farm-lad, while the maid went to draw the cider. He ate a few spoonfuls of broth, then pushed his plate away. His mother asked, 'Have you anything the matter?'[1] 'No,' he answered, 'it's a turning-like in the stomach, which stops me fancying my victuals.' He watched the others eating, cutting from time to time a mouthful of bread, which he carried slowly to his lips, and went on chewing. He thought of La Martine, . . . 'all the same, that's a pretty girl.' And to think that he never noticed it before, and now it came on him like that, all of a sudden, and so upset him that he could not eat. He hardly touched the stew. 'Come, Benoist,' said his mother, 'make yourself eat a bit;[2] it's off the neck of mutton; it'll do you good. When you've no fancy to eat, you

  1. C'est-i que t'es indispos?
  2. Efforce té un p'tieu